Archive for the ‘Digital Marketing’ Category

Social Media Update: Reels, Live Shopping and Snap Camera

September 7, 2020

In this blog post our digital guru, Alma Brosnan, brings us some recent recent developments from the world of social media that you might find interesting and might just work for you and your business!

Changes with Instagram: Reels

One thing that always stands true for Facebook is that they want to be the king in the space of social media and yet again they have duplicated another social media platform into one of their own.

In August, Instagram (which is owned by the social media giant) introduced ‘Reels’ onto the platform, which are short 15 second video clips that can have a musical background…

Sound familiar to anyone? (It’s not so long ago when they literally copied all of the very cool, fun functionality from SnapChat to wrestle young users over to them).

This is Facebook’s attempt to compete with TikTok, the popular short-form video creation app which is especially popular with Gen Z and has garnered more attention from the older generation during the year.

Reels - Social Media Consultancy

The timing of releasing Reels has been perfect by Instagram as President Donald Trump is getting closer to banning TikTok in the United States as a national security threat, and with this popular TikTokers might move to Reels to keep their audience and momentum going.

However, Reels may seem like TikTok but does not have the same functionality and ease of use of the popular app.

Click here for an article from the New York Times that goes through the differences between Reels and TikTok, and TikTok comes out the winner, so we’ll see what happens if Trump goes through on his threat to ban TikTok on September 20th.

The United States wanting to ban a social media platform from another country – that idea is a whole other debate!

Changes with Facebook: Desktop and “Live Shopping”

Have you noticed the new change to Facebook on the desktop version?

From September 1st, the “New” Facebook design was rolled out to everyone. It’s an update to the interface that is now placing a bigger emphasis on Stories, Groups and Events, with the traditional News feed still appearing in the middle of the page, but users have easier access to the above-mentioned activities.

You can also choose to have a “dark mode” as some users prefer to use on their mobile devices but this is usable on the desktop version too.

Facebook changes, Social media consultancy

During Covid-19 and the lockdown periods, Facebook have begun to put a lot more effort in their Facebook and Instagram Shop offerings.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the shift to online shopping has rapidly accelerated, with an estimated 85% of people worldwide now shopping online.

To quote them:: “We want to make shopping easier for people and empower anyone, from an entrepreneur to the largest brand, to use our apps to connect with customers and grow their business. That’s why we’re creating new ways for people to shop on our apps and providing tools to help businesses sell online

With these new tools, they have now added new customisation features, messaging tools and new insights to help measure results.

A cool new tool introduced with all of these features is “Live Shopping”.

The user hosting the live video will be able to tag the product they’re speaking about which will enable the users watching the video to purchase the product directly.

Changes to Snapchat: Clever integration tool for Zoom 

Sick of Zoom meetings? We’ve all been in at least two Zoom calls a week since lockdown and they’ve varied from professional business meetings to quizzes with families at the weekend.

Snap Camera - Social Media Consultancy, Fuzion Communications

Now as the boredom of those kicks in, we have a fun way to jazz up all your Zoom calls from now on! You can download the Snap Camera from Snapchat as a desktop program and play around with all the different filters to make your calls more entertaining.

That’s it from me until next time … 

Alma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing team providing Social Media Consultancy and Training services at Fuzion Communications from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Welcome to the Twitter Echo Chamber?

August 12, 2020

 

Pleasantville

BREAKING NEWS: Have Twitter officially gone crazy?

Twitter has just rolled out a new feature that will enable a user to limit who can reply to their tweet!

Have a peep at the bottom left corner of your Tweet window when you are tweeting and you will see a new message:

[Everyone Can Reply]

Click this and you will see two further options..

This is how Twitter has explained how this feature will work:

Here’s how it works.

Before you Tweet, choose who can reply with three options:

1) everyone (standard Twitter, and the default setting),

2) only people you follow,

or

3) only people you mention.

Tweets with the latter two settings will be labeled and the reply icon will be grayed out for people who can’t reply.

People who can’t reply will still be able to view, Retweet, Retweet with Comment, share, and like these Tweets.

This is a really interesting (very weird) development for the platform that can often generate lots of discussion, arguments and often abuse.

Effectively I can now tweet that “Greg is the greatest!” and I can do it is a way that no one can argue with me!!

 

The Rationale

I’m guessing Twitter want this because of the fear that many people have when using the platform because of the aggressive nature of many people using it unchecked, led by some very hateful horrible people such as the wonderful Donald Trump.

In truth they are petrified of expressing themselves on it, and maybe for good reason as reporting abuse doesn’t seem to stop anyone.

Twitter noted that users in their test pool have said “that they feel more comfortable tweeting, and more protected from spam and abuse, which has led to them tweeting longer, more in-depth thoughts, particularly on sensitive subjects

People who face abuse find these settings helpful – those who have submitted abuse reports are 3x more likely to use these settings.

The deeper rationale is most likely a commercial one – more active users will lead to more relevance and a better ability to market it to advertisers.

The Plus 

As mentioned already, it may encourage some people to tweet more, knowing that discussion feedback (good or bad) will be limited to their narrow chosen audience.

It might enable other users to start using the platform for certain posts more like Facebook whereby only friends can see their posts.

It could also be useful for organisations (public bodies) who want to push out updates and other information without getting a deluge of responses (good or bad).

Beyond that I am not seeing any other advantages.

The Minus

This will be a huge frustration for users of the platform, when they can see a tweet and want to interact with it and they cannot because of the setting – the openness of Twitter was part of the magic (even with some of the abusive users).

I think in many cases that might result in you unfollowing the account – I do recall at a social media training once a student saying “I only want people to hear what I say” – good luck with that perspective!!

This is my point, my opinion, my view but I only want a very select bunch to see it” …ah come on, this is surely creating a very warped world on Twitter for that person and for the collective.

Do we really need a very false, extra cosy “echo chamber” loaded with biased opinions and unchecked fake news with soft cushions everywhere, or would it be much better if instead of this strange solution to aggressive, abusive behaviour on the platform, that there was a more robust reporting system that did penalise serial abusers? (bye bye Donald!)?

Note: spotting the “Greg is the greatest” tweet I can easily undermine the soft cushions by tweeting something like:

Did you see what that idiot @GregCantyFuzion just said about himself in his self congratulating protected tweet, what a Wally!!”

Twitter is a place that gives us all an equal voice – unfortunately like so many other areas of society we often can’t control our worst urges, we can be nasty, we can be hateful, we can be abusive, we can be racist and we can be downright horrible!

The Echo Chamber isn’t the solution…what do you think?

(the image used at the top of this post was from the fantastic movie ‘Pleasantville’

 

Supports are available for your Business

April 15, 2020

What a hard to believe, crazy time that we are all knee deep in!

For some it is incredibly busy, coping with fulfilling unprecedented demand in difficult circumstances, for some it is somewhat damaging and messy and for others this “pause” is devastating and real solutions are needed for immediate survival and to plan for a much needed return to some type of normal.

The Local Enterprise Office network has implemented a suite of support services to assist businesses at this time.

We would urge you to look carefully at these valuable supports, not only to assist you right now, but also to make your business stronger going into the future.

There are 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country, all offering these additional supports:

A support we have found to be hugely beneficial for businesses throughout the years is the Trading Online Voucher Scheme

A second voucher is now available for businesses that have previously availed of this support over the years. Having a strong online presence has never been more important, so whether it’s improving your website and online shop to creating an app, we strongly advise you to check this out.

The Trading Online Voucher can also be used to support the below:

  • Website Creation
  • Digital Marketing
  • Social Media for Business
  • Search Engine Optimisation

To find more about the online trading voucher and the eligibility criteria visit www.localenterprise.ie and contact your local office.

If we can assist you to put a practical plan together in any of these areas give us a call and we will do everything we can to help.

As well as the Trading Online Voucher, there is a range of different supports available to businesses impacted by COVID-19.

An overview of all supports available:

Trading Online Voucher Scheme
Second voucher available

 

Can you do more business online?

The expanded Trading Online Voucher Scheme helps small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade more online, boost sales and reach new markets.

There is up to €2,500 available through the Local Enterprise Offices, with co-funding of 10% from the business. Funding can be used towards adding payment facilities or booking systems to your website or developing new apps for your customers.

The voucher can also be used towards subscriptions to low cost online retail platform solutions, to help companies quickly establish a retailing presence online.

 

Business Continuity Vouchers 
Apply for €2,500 in consultancy

The new Business Continuity Voucher is designed for businesses across every sector that employ up to 50 people.

The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs (at no cost to the company) and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the business challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goal is to help companies make informed decisions about what immediate measures and remedial actions should be taken, to protect staff and sales.

If we can be of assistance, please contact us and we will talk through the challenges you are facing.

LEO Financial Supports 
Grants for new and established businesses

 

COVID-19
Business Loans  

First 6 months are interest & repayment free
New low rate of 4.5% through the Local Enterprise Offices

The COVID-19 Business Loan from Microfinance Ireland (MFI), in partnership with Local Enterprise Offices, is a Government-funded initiative to support small businesses.

It’s designed for micro-enterprises that are a) having difficulty accessing Bank finance and b) impacted, or may be impacted negatively, by COVID-19 resulting in a reduction of 15% or more in turnover or profit.

To view loan features click here.

 

Lean for Micro
Become a Leaner business

LEAN for Micro is available to LEO clients to help build resilience within small companies.

Under this programme, clients can avail of consultancy support with a LEAN Expert (a qualified practitioner), who will work with the company to introduce lean principles, undertake a specific cost savings project and assist the company in benchmarking its performance. LEAN for Micro can also be used to help implement new remote working and physical distancing guidelines.

 

Mentoring Advice and guidance
Now free of charge 

Grants for new and established businesses

 
Under the Local Enterprise Office Mentor Programme, clients work with an experienced mentor to identify solutions to areas of exposure within their business. With advice and guidance from their mentor, clients develop strategies that are more robust, which address issues and maximise potential opportunities when the COVID-19 crisis comes to an end.
 

Training and Webinars 
Upskill and network remotely,
for free

Local Enterprise Offices have moved training programmes, workshops and networking meet-ups online, covering areas such as cash management in a crisis, leading your business through COVID-19 and advice for employers impacted by the crisis.

Training programmes are free of charge and places can be booked online, through your Local Enterprise Office.

 

LEO Financial Supports 
Grants for new and established businesses

For existing companies and potential start-ups that meet eligibility criteria (such as employing 10 or fewer people with the potential for growth and job creation), Local Enterprise Offices can also offer financial supports to help manage current market challenges:

  • Business Priming Grants
  • Business Expansion Grants
  • Feasibility Study Grants
  • Technical Assistance for Micro-Exporters Grant

To view the full details on the supports available to your business and the criteria visit: www.localenterprise.ie/Response.

Depending on how the situation evolves, criteria may change so please refer to the above website for updates.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can offer you advice during these difficult timesand try to stay positive and seriously think about using these supports, for today and a much better tomorrow….it will come!

Best wishes from all at Fuzion.

Greg

(086) 8311156 greg@fuzion.ie  

Greg Canty is the Managing Partner of Fuzion Communications, Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing, Dublin and Cork offices

LinkedIn – Group Hug!! (Are you joining groups?)

April 1, 2020

LinkedIn Groups - Social Media Training

From my experience most LinkedIn users are not using the very useful ‘Groups‘ facility on the platform.

For your industry or your business community there is more than likely a group set up with like minded individuals who have already joined.

These could provide you with the opportunity to interact with like minded people, discuss topical issues, solve problems, demonstrate your expertise, get information or these could easily help you to identify useful connections for your business or organisation.

If you do a search right now…Dublin Chamber, Cork Chamber. UCD Alumni, Marketing professionals, Hospitality professionals in Ireland – you are likely to find a group that matches your search.

Groups will have a filter process for members depending on how they have been created – you will need to request to join or be invited to join by an existing member and an administrator somewhere will decide whether to let you in or not.

If it is a group for a membership organisation it is very likely that they will not grant you access unless you are a member.

When you create a group you have a number of options including:

  • Name and description
  • Industry types (up to 3)
  • Stated rules for the group (how members should use and behave within the group)
  • Whether the group is visible or not: you could for example make it a “closed” group for your organisation so it won’t appear on searches
  • If you allow existing members to invite others to join
  • Approval setting for posts within the group.

New Feature: Messaging

The functionality is always changing so how you can use them is always changing. For example LinkedIn have just now given members within groups the ability to send a message to other members, without being connected to them (and without having the paid version of the platform).

These messages will come into you just like a normal message on LinkedIn.

So…look for a group today that could work for you and your business, click that ‘Join’ button and off you go!

Or…maybe you could be the one to create that group?

What are you waiting for?!!

Greg

Greg Canty heads up the Digital Marketing team at Fuzion Communications and as part of our suite of digital services we offer social media training and social media consultancy, both face to face and online

 

 

 

Social Media and Punk Sanitiser in the time of Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Punk Santiser

For years, we have been encouraging small businesses to build a social media presence through our training sessions, client meetings and even networking events.

This is now that time where having that online presence can be really useful for your business. We’re being encouraged to socially distance, which all of our team are doing by working from home, but if you’re a retail or hospitality business who relies on face to face customer interactions these coming weeks are going to be hard to manage.

Here are a couple of simple tips that might help you:

Don’t Hide!

Up until now you might be afraid of saying the wrong thing, so you’ve been keeping your head down – now is the perfect time to make the most of your social media presence. Your audience want to hear from you so they can understand what’s happening with your business at this time.

Engage

Engage with your customer base by communicating your messages but also listening to their queries and empathising where possible. Let your customers know what your business and your team are going through and even share the positive things that you are witnessing in your community – we need hope! 

What you can say?

Spend a bit of time to figure out what the messages are that you want to share online, whether it’s that you can offer an online service, deliveries or a call & collect service.  Your audience at this time are looking for authenticity so don’t be afraid to share a message that might be personal, it will help humanise you and your business.

Tip: We always advise before jumping in that it is best to do an exercise with your team to decide what the key messages of the business are – your content should deliver on these key messages, which is a great way of keeping you on track.

Empathise

Before posting always try to put yourself in the mindset of the reader – people are in unusual circumstances, many of them are worried and try to take this into account when you post.

Is there a way you can help?

Your business may not feel like it’s relevant at the moment but is there anything else you can offer your followers or your community?

A fantastic example of this is many of the distilleries across Ireland and the UK who are now making much needed hand sanitiser to provide to the HSE and the NHS.

Is there any way we can help?

If you need a hand to get up and running let us know and we can get you trained up with a training session online.

For more social media advice keep an eye on our channels over the coming weeks, as I’m sure to have much more to say now that I’m trapped indoors!

Be safe..

Alma Brosnan Social Media Consultant, Fuzion CommunicationsAlma

Alma Brosnan is a social media consultant with Fuzion Communications who operate from offices in Dublin and Cork and sometimes from home!


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